2015 ANCA-WR Grassroots Conference guest speakers will discuss the genesis of community activism given the changing climate of outreach through art, education, social media and other modern avenues on October 24, 2015 at the Alternative Activism panel.
Beginning at 4:00 p.m., the panel will feature Scout Tufankjian, photographer and author of the New York Times and LA Times bestseller, Yes We Can: Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign, and There is Only the Earth: Images from the Armenian Diaspora Project; Professor Paul Von Blum, a senior lecturer of the Holocaust, the African American struggle, and the Armenian Genocide at UCLA; and Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America. Former Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of Los Angeles and expert in mass communication and democratic movements, Dr. Lucig H. Danielian will moderate the panel.
New York based photographer Scout Tufankjian is best known for her work documenting the Barack Obama campaigns. Tufankjian has spent the bulk of her career working in the Middle East covering the second intifada from Gaza and the Arab Spring in Egypt. After publishing her book on the 2007-2008 Obama campaign, Yes We Can: Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign, Tufankjian returned to the Obama campaign trail in the summer of 2012. As a photographer for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, Tufankjian took an image of the President and the First Lady hugging that shattered all social media records at the time.
Tufankjian’s newest book, There is Only the Earth: Images from the Armenian Diaspora Project, is the culmination of six years documenting Armenian communities in over 20 different countries.
Paul Von Blum has been a civil rights activist for more than 50 years first as a student and now as a scholar and professor. Von Blum received Distinguished Teaching Awards at both Berkeley and UCLA. Prior to teaching at UCLA in 1980, Von Blum taught at the University of California at Berkeley for 11 years. He has authored several books and many articles on art, politics, history, and education as it pertains to genocide studies, struggles of African Americans, and civil rights, and is an expert in agitational communication. His newest book, Civil Rights For Beginners, will be out in early January, 2016. Von Blum also writes regularly for Tikkun, the Journal of Pan African Studies, and Truthdig.
Aram Hamparian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America. Hamparian serves as the organization’s primary national representative to the Administration, Congress, and the Washington foreign policy community. Prior to his work at the ANCA, he was an active member of the New Jersey chapter of the ANCA. He works day to day on a broad range of legislative, policy, research, political, campaign, media, coalition, and community-related concerns along with the ANCA’s national staff, and in coordination with regional ANCA offices and a network of more than 50 local chapters.
“The Alternative Activism panel will challenge our imagination to awaken our inner activist. Our participants will walk away from this panel with a set of new outreach tools that will be artistic, educational, and tech-savvy,” said ANCA-WR Grassroots committee co-chairman Ara Khachatourian.
The esteemed moderator of the panel, Dr. Lucig H. Danielian, supervised the first assessment of human rights education at all levels and institutions in Armenia. She has conducted dozens of sponsored research projects in Armenia and is an expert in survey and polling research and applying quantitative and qualitative research methods under difficult conditions. Dr. Danielian earned her Ph.D in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin and was a faculty member at the University at Albany, State University of New York, where she received a University Faculty Fellowship for research on mass communication and democratic movements in Armenia during the Soviet period.
Among Dr. Danielian’s extensive work in human and civil rights, she served as the first full-time executive director of the Armenian National Committee in Los Angeles, founding member of the Sassounian Defense Committee, organizing the Armenian-American response to the 1988 imprisonment of the Karabakh Committee, coordinating the former Soviet Union’s first independent election monitoring organization, was a founding member of Armenia’s first organization to defend the rights of political prisoners, was Board Chair of the Open Society Institute Armenia Foundation, and served as Provost and Vice-President of the American University of Armenia.
“Exploring new and creative means of activism is one of the most important projects we have this year as we enter a new phase of our Cause in the post-Centennial period. We are confident that the Alternative Activism panel will be innovative and provocative, and we are proud to have assembled such a stellar group of experts to discuss this topic,” stated ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq.
The ANCA-WR Grassroots conference will take place on October 23 and 24 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. General admission to the conference is $85 and $50 for students. Visit www.ANCAWRGrassroots.org to register online or to learn about sponsorship and booth display opportunities.
This year’s ANCA-WR Gala Banquet will be one of the largest the organization has hosted and will top off a can’t-miss weekend for our community. The event, which has become one of the most anticipated events of the calendar year, will be held on Sunday, October 25 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. For information about purchasing tickets, and corporate and tribute message sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.ANCAWRGala.org or call 818.839.1918.
The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.